Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING

Terminal degree intended for students with a strong background in the sciences or engineering who are interested in careers in basic and applied research, education, advanced practice, and management in the field of environmental sciences and engineering.

Program Details


Minimum Credit Hours
55 (varies)


Application Cycle
Fall; Spring


Application Deadline
Spring: October 11, 2022
Fall 2023: May 9, 2023 (recommended: December 13, 2022. This this The Graduate School’s Fall Fellowships recommended deadline)


Expected Duration
4-5 Years


Learning Environment
Residential


Admissions Information



Who Should Apply
The PhD, a terminal degree, is intended for incoming students with a strong background in the sciences or engineering and prepares them for careers in basic and applied research, education, or management in the field of environmental sciences and engineering. Applicants should have a strong background in the sciences, math or engineering with interest and aptitude for original and significant research; focused written statement should convey a motivation for research; strong academic record; strong letters of recommendation.

Prior Degree Required
Graduate-level degree in an appropriate science, math or engineering field, or comparable bachelor’s degree with exceptional qualifications.

Required Prerequisites
None

Undergraduate G.P.A.
An average grade of B (cumulative GPA 3.0) or better is required. Incoming students had a mean undergraduate GPA of 3.6.

Letters of Recommendation Required
3 (academic and/or professional; at least one academic preferred)

Interviews
Not Required

Visit Opportunities
Learn about opportunities to connect with faculty, staff, and current students virtually and in person.


How To Apply



I. Complete UNC Graduate School application
The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC Chapel Hill programs.

More Information

1. Application Fee

The UNC Graduate School application fee is $95. Information on UNC Graduate School Fee Waiver Requests

2. Faculty Interest(s)/mentor(s)

A match with a faculty mentor is required for admission. Applicants should reach out to potential faculty mentors early in the cycle.

3. Applicant information,  including North Carolina residency information.

4. Area(s) of interest

Select all applicable areas of interest from the dropdown.

5. Educational history

Please upload a copy of your most recent transcript(s), including your current term grades, if applicable. (If grades are not yet available, send them to the UNC Gillings program contact as soon as they become available.) Be sure the transcript reflects the name of the institution and any degrees you received.

We advise that you order two copies of your transcript(s) to be sent to you. If you are admitted and choose to enroll, UNC will require official transcript(s) showing degree(s) awarded.

6. Community standards

You will be asked about honor code, crime, academic sanction, military discharge, etc.

7. Upload your personal statement.

The statement is a critical piece of the admissions process. We will evaluate both the content of the statement and your writing skills in considering your application. The statement should not exceed two pages in length. All applicants should review our six focus areas and include a ranked list of your preference in your personal statement: Doctoral applicants should include discussion of your research interests and how they mesh with the current research of ESE faculty. All applicants who have specific interests in lab, field, and/or computational research should indicate these interests in their statements. All statements should include the names of ESE faculty with whom the applicant would like to work.

Please visit the ‘Department Research’ link on our departmental website toolbar for more information.

  • Contaminant sources, fate and transport;
  • Design and analysis of engineered systems;
  • Exposure biology, biomarkers and mechanisms of disease;
  • Global environmental health;
  • Impacts and mitigation of climate change; and
  • Policy, decision-making and risk analysis.

8. Upload your resume or CV.

9. Enter names of recommenders. UNC will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf.

3 Letters of Recommendations are required. We encourage references from professors or teachers (or teaching assistants) or work/research supervisors who have worked directly and closely with you and who can speak about you with specificity.

10. Report test scores, if applicable.

GRE scores are neither required nor typically recommended for applicants.

International applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS standardized test scores. Code 5816 routes to UNC. TOEFL/IELTS scores must be no more than two years old.

11. Document submission (check legibility of uploads)

Applicants should preview all documents uploaded into the application system to ensure that all documents are legible for committee review.

12. Track your progress.

You will be able to track status through the Graduate School application. Once a decision is made, you will receive an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.


II. Application Review Process

More Information

1. Department reviews application and recommends a decision.

Time-to-decision varies. Departments make recommendations to the UNC Graduate School for admitting and denying applicants. Final decisions are rendered by the UNC Graduate School.

2. UNC Graduate School reviews department recommendation and renders a final decision:

The UNC Graduate School reviews all admissions recommendations made by programs. Once final decisions have been made, the UNC Graduate School will send the applicant an email instructing them to login to their application portal to see the decision letter.


III. Costs and Funding

More Information

When estimating costs, please visit the UNC Cashier’s Office and use the Graduate and Professional Program Tuition and Fees link. Please note that the tuition and fees of graduate programs at Gillings vary from other graduate programs at UNC.

Gillings departments and concentrations consider both domestic and international applicants for funding. Please see below for helpful tips and resources:

1. Applicants are encouraged to apply by the priority deadline to be considered for UNC Graduate School scholarships and fellowships. Departments and concentrations will decide which applicants to nominate. No additional application is required.

2. Please refer to our School’s Costs and Funding page and/or UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA) website.

3. Apply for FEDERAL financial aid by March 1 (please verify this date via FAFSA). If you have been admitted and completed the FAFSA form by their deadline, the UNC Office of Scholarship and Student Aid will create a financial aid package for you.

4. Funding offers through the department, such as research assistantships, are possible but not guaranteed.

5. Students positions at Gillings are posted here. The UNC Graduate School also provides resources for funding, including a listserv for incoming and current students, here.


During and After The Program

For more information on our curriculum and graduate school/career outcomes, please see our Student Handbook.

 

Questions?


Gillings Admissions
sph-admissions@unc.edu

Jennifer Moore
Academic Coordinator
esestudentservices@unc.edu

Kira S. Jones
Graduate Application Coordinator
esestudentservices@unc.edu

Jason West
Director of Graduate Studies
esegraddirector@unc.edu